has learned that Tehran has meanwhile ordered Nasrallah to keep Israel engaged in combat for another 3 to 4 months. As a result of which he suddenly backed away from his pledges to France and the Siniora government Saturday to accept a ceasefire and a UNIFIL force in south Lebanon.
At five minutes notice, the thunderstruck Lebanese ministers called off their meeting to discuss the deployment of their forces in the south and the disarming of Hizballah. This is the situation the night before the ceasefire: Israel says its troops will not be recalled from Lebanon until a beefed up UNIFIL force is in place. However no international peacekeepers will deploy without a Lebanese military presence. That has now been checked by Nasrallah because the Lebanese army chiefs refuse to deploy south of the Litani if Hizballah fighters are armed.
Rice calls Lebanese PM to warn him that if the UN Lebanon resolution is not implemented, "We will not be responsible for the consequences".
Monday, August 14th : DEBKAfile reports
military sources report trepidation about the durability of the ceasefire.
Cars loaded with Hizballah fighters, boxes of guns and military equipment were clearly visible heading south. Israeli troops were not authorized to stop them.
Fresh Hizballah strength is now heading back to man the underground war stations anew.
According to exclusive reports reaching DEBKAfile’s sources, the Iranian government believes that Israel and the United States are preparing a military operation for the coming October and November to strike Iran’s nuclear installations. It is therefore vital to keep the two armies (IDF and American forces in Iraq) fully occupied with other pursuits.
From the Iranian viewpoint, Israel succeeded in seriously degrading Hizballah’s capabilities. It was also able to throw the Lebanese Shiite militia to the wolves; the West is now in a position to force Nasrallah and his men to quit southern Lebanon and disarm. The West shut its eyes when he flouted the Resolution 1559 order for the disarmament of all Lebanese militias. But that game is over. The Americans will use Resolution 1701 as an effective weapon to squeeze Iran, denied of its second-front deterrence (an armed Hizballah), on its nuclear program.
Tehran hopes to pre-empt the American move by torpedoing the Lebanon ceasefire and preventing the termination of hostilities at all costs.
Hassan Nasrallah is therefore under orders to fight on.
There is deep concern in Washington for the life of Fouad Siniora, the prime minister of Lebanon. It is feared he may be the victim of a murder conspiracy by Hizballah and Syrian intelligence as a means of trashing UN Security Council resolution 1701 and any chance of ending hostilities in Lebanon.
It's not over until Tehran and Damascus decide it is over.